Who We Are
The Rural Area Student Initiative, or RASI (rah-see), is a Registered Student Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign established in 2022. After meeting the first week of freshman year, two students from opposite sides of rural Illinois began to notice just how few rural students they'd been able to find at UIUC. This prompted students Liz and Kaleb to found RASI, a student organization that strives to not only support UIUC students from rural areas as they navigate the transition to higher education, but also provide resources to rural high school students interested in pursuing higher education.
What We Do
The culture shock rural college students experience when they first step onto campus is seldom talked about, leaving many to struggle silently as a result. RASI seeks to create a "home away from home" at UIUC-- a hub for rural students to support one another academically, professionally, and socially. Whether it be through class advice, applying for internships, or even just venting to a fellow student, RASI members will always have access to a built-in support system.
High school students in rural areas face a multitude of unique financial, academic, and cultural challenges. The Liaison Program, a program developed by rural college students for rural high school students, aims to mitigate the weight of these challenges. Every RASI member has the option to become a Liaison to their rural high school. As past students, they know better than anyone how best to serve the students of their high school. Liaisons utilize this pre-established connection by reaching out to their high school administrators and connecting the students of their high school with RASI's carefully curated college access materials. Additionally, they remain available to every student for questions about their college experience and general assistance concerning the college application process.